Update Time! Where the blog is headed + PP Life + Answering your Questions

Well well well….we FINALLY meet again on here ladies! First off, thank you for taking the time to head to my blog to support me and my creative space. I know some of you have been here since the beginning and that’s crazy to me! I don’t see how I am that exciting of a person for you to follow me for all these years but thank you! Also thank you to anyone new around here!! I’m so grateful for anyone that takes the time out to check out my posts or listens to my stories on IG.

Okay, so lets dive into today’s <long> post. I’m sorry it got kinda lengthy but I am WAY overdue for an update on here and I hope you ladies enjoy it. Please leave a comment below if you have questions about thing.

Blog talk. What’s happening next.

So I guess I will start off this blog post about where my blog is going because I feel like that’s why most of you came here to see what’s going on. If you followed me on IG over the Summer you saw that I spent it in California with my kiddos and basically took the Summer off from “blogging” ( I say “blogging” because it’s so weird to call yourself a blogger when don’t actually really blog! haha ) I did pop on IG from time to time and share some of our Summer adventures but I wasn’t on all the time like I was before we headed on our trip.

Ashley Clark Blog: Life Update
Ashley Clark Blog: Life Update

It was so wonderful and HEALTHY to detached while I was there. It’s scary how minds get attached to our phones and social media. I wish I was better about putting my phone down when I am into my social media for my blog but I totally suck at balancing it. I was better at balancing it when had my older two kids but now that I am a Mom of three, I’m like forget finding a balancing act….it is a total S**t show 90% most of the time. I know a lot of you love the real side of what I share on my social media and I love when other bloggers put down all the filters and the prefect angles of making their photos or stories just so. That’s not reality and I hate how they promote that it is, also confused why others like to follow that??? I mean to each their own at the end of the day of course…but as a Mom of three that has zero help 90% of the time….I don’t want to see that crap because it just makes me feel I’m not up to par with myself, which is far from the truth!!

Ashley Clark Blog: Life Update
Ashley Clark Blog: Life Update

I have been struggling really badly about where I can take my blog/social media. As most of you know, I took my kids off my blog and social media because I had total creepers on there and I just don’t want that stress of some random person watching our every move and figuring out where we live, etc…I try to be VERY vague about our where abouts or post in delayed time of our adventures for safety reasons. But at the end of the day, this is not my job and I don’t make a reoccurring income from this either. (boy would that be nice!) So off they went and I am sad I won’t be sharing them anymore but I will go back to sharing what I can that makes me feel ok about it. Also, I had Averie come up to me and ask why a friend at school knew about something she was doing at home (it wasn’t anything major) and how they even knew that? She was totally uncomfortable about it and asked where they saw it/did I post it on Facebook?? I don’t post anything about my kids on Facebook anymore for many reasons that I won’t get into know because I would just be writing a book about this subject! HAHA No shame or judgment to those that do, I use to FB all the time back in the day and have a private social media accounts for my close family and friends that I use from time to time.

So circling back to Averie…..taking them off my IG was the best thing because I could see how uncomfortable she felt knowing that someone from school saw what she was doing at home and she didn’t like it and it also made her feel really uncomfortable. I just don’t think it’s cool to put their little lives out there for all to see and them not have a voice in the matter. Now I’m not saying my kids get a voice in everything they do…haha this Mama doesn’t have time for that. Just when it comes to situations like this, I get how she feels because I think I would feel weird if my Mom put my entire life on social media when I was kid. Am I wrong?? Yes, I know you can be discreet about what you post about them on social media and a lot of people just have close family and friends on their accounts but in my situation I feel like it’s a little different.

I started my blog YEARS ago as my outlet from being a SAHM and had so much fun with it and made sure to just stay in my lane because boy can you get sucked in and spit out faster than you realize. It’s like the worst years of high school, if you are not accepted by the popular crowed ( meaning the brands/companies looking for influencers to work with) then it’s an uphill battle to get a chance to work with them. I took my fair share of free/exchange of products for a long time but you get burnt out on that fast!! Especially when you are not making any money from that work and you guys, A LOT of time and effort goes into a simple IG post especially when you are linking items and same with blog posts. I’m not at all complaining about the amazing opportunities I have gotten, but I’ve RARELY get approached for paid work. I’ve gotten lucky twice from two awesome companies but twice in 5 years isn’t much! HA

So that all being said, I’m struggling to find a place to settle into in this crazy blogging world. I constantly think about what am I bringing to the table for others AND am I creating something that isn’t wasting precious time (that I don’t really have) away from my family???? Am I saying/sharing the same things all of these other bloggers are doing, because lets face it, their is a lot of that out there. My blog started out fashion and then turned into a little Motherhood talk, back to fashion/preggo life, and now it’s PP life and little bit of fashion. Which is wonderful don’t get me wrong! But I feel like my creativity is fried from being so sleep deprived for the past two years and then managing three little humans! So to get to the point about where my blog is going, the answer is I have no freaken idea! What I do know it is……

  1. I am creating boundaries for myself/somewhat of a schedule of when I will be on social media. For example: Going on IG at certain times of the day Monday-Friday ( mainly while my kids are at school) and taking weekends off, even if their are sales! If you guys want me to cover certain sales then I’ll prep ahead of time for it. It’s unnatural for my to take my phone out and do stories when I’m with my kids. Yes, those stories are fun to watch (guilty as charged!) but I don’t want to be teaching my kids that taking your phone out 24/7 is healthy because we all know it’s not.

  2. Share what brings me joy! At the end of the day you guys are following me because you enjoy me and my outlook on fashion, motherhood, and whatever else I share. ( at least thats what I hope you guys are following me for) haha The blogging industry (the fashion side) has really taken a turn over the past year and honestly I don’t want any part of it. I am 32 year old Stay At Home Mom of three…doing try on’s all the time, ordering a crazy amount of clothes I would never use nor could afford, and recording our life 24/7 is not my reality nor is it what I want to be doing with my time. Yes these women get paid to do these things 90% of the time. At the end of the day they are willing to spend their lives on social media and I am just NOT about that life. I want to create a space that is authentic and more relatable for women and Moms in my position. I do enjoy try on’s, don’t get me wrong but I’m talking about doing them when they come up naturally in my life or if you ladies are requesting certain items from me.

  3. Write more blog posts! I feel like this is a great way to really connect with you guys on other levels. It’s time to build up this space because one day what if IG went away, then what?! Also, I may not be the fastest at putting up blog posts and the reason being is because I work at night after I get my kids to bed and that’s my only time to actually see my Husband. So my apologizes in advance for taking twice as long to get up a post for you girls.

  4. STOP comparing and CARING if I grow my social media. This is so hard to do but it’s a must if I am in this for the long haul. I need to carry over the same attitude I have about if certain people like me or not in my day to day life over to social media land.

  5. Bring back my love for fashion but in a realistic way. It’s not normal to be buying new items all the time and to be honest, I’m so sick of seeing try on’s….yes some are fun and helpful but I’m wanting to bring a new form of try on to my little social media corner for you! So to be continued…….

I want to say thank you for continuing to support me during my highs and lows. You girls are so amazing and sweet for reaching out to me and always sending me uplifting messages! I really do have some very caring followers!! If you ever want me to cover a certain topic, PLEASE just reach out to me because I honestly don’t much feedback from my followers. I feel like people are either scared to reach out or just don’t care to. This space is not only for me, it’s a little community for us all to enjoy.

That PP Life. Eating and working out.

Oh lord, my least favorite topic these days. We are at our 13 month mark now with sweet little Annabelle and man did that time go by WAY to fast. I swear with each kid it goes faster than the one before. I really thought I would have been a lot closer to my pre baby weight by now because during my pregnancy I only gained 30-34 pounds! With my older two kids I gained 50 pounds and lost it faster afterwards, granted I was in my 20’s during that time. Their are also a few factors as to way I lost it faster back then too, for example: I was younger, LESS stress, and my kids actually slept! This time around, I have a lot more stress in my life, we live away from my family, older kids have a more demanding school schedule, Husband works a ton which means I’m solo a lot, and Annabelle isn’t the best night time sleeper. So this Mama is completely burnt out girls.

Ashley Clark Blog: Life Update

Their has been many tears over these past 13 months. Many days I wasn’t sure how I was going to get through my days. Many days of self doubt that I wasn’t doing everything I possible could for all three of my kids (thanks for that sleep deprivation!) . Many days of just being OVER the way my body looks and how I feel. Yes I gave myself lots of grace but I’m only human and grace wears off at times. On top of all that I developed a skin condition where there is no cure for it and it has spread to different areas of my body over the past 6 months. I know it is because of all the stresses I have been dealing with and the major lack of sleep that I get and never getting time to regroup. I have been able to kinda of control the spreading of it with my diet tho!

Ashley Clark Blog: Life Update

I have gotten comments from followers and friends that I look great and don’t worry about it which has been so wonderful and helpful to hear on those really hard days. At the end of the day we all have that personal goal for yourself of where you want your body to be and where you feel your absolute best! I have tried so hard to eat the best I can and work out on days where I got a decent amount of sleep the night before but consistency has not been my friend. I basically have lost and gained the same 10 pounds this past year. Annabelle is still nursing and is not showing any winging signs yet! I have shared before that it’s really hard for me to drop the weight while nursing and that has really saved me on those dark days. Another thing that has saved me as well is consistently reminding myself that, she is my last baby. This is the last time you will be able to nurse, the last time you will be able to experience to amazing bond, the last time you will have to deal with this kind of weight loss. I feel like these are little gifts from God, because we have been very close during this journey. HAHA

Recently I really looked inside and asked myself, “why on earth are you so freaken hard on yourself this time around?!?” The answer ladies…..social media!! Every time you see some girl, usually a blogger on social media they are all put together and dropped their baby weight within a short time. So you can’t help but to compare yourself to these girls all the time. Yes it’s silly and yes I know that everyones bodies are different but girls it’s hard and I’m only human! Plus sleep deprivation really screws with your emotions! Now I’m not saying that I stick there and compare myself daily, who has time for that?! I’m saying is that I’ve compared myself and have let those negative emotions overcome more times than I would like to admit. So if you have fallen into that dark hole, I’m lending you a hand it get out of it and to say you are SO not alone. I am loving this new “trend” because lets face it, it really is a trend at the end of day….that these women are coming forward and showing their unedited photos and the raw side of PP bodies. It’s really refreshing to see that on social media and also hats off to these women because I’m not brave enough to do that!!

lets talk food:

A few months ago I came across the Medical Medium and he has completely changed my outlook on food and how I needed to make a MAJOR lifestyle change. He showed me that I am able to heal my body from this skin issue plus help with my adrenal fatigue! Celery juice + eating plant base + dairy free (the best I can) has been my saving grace with my skin issues and the other issues I am dealing with. Some of my problem areas on my skin are slowly clearing up and are also slowing down the growth process. My body craves tons of fruits and veggies now, which feels amazing. The only thing I am trying to eliminate now is dairy! As a mentioned earlier, I am still nursing so I haven’t changed everything yet because I am still trying to keep my supply up. ( I started eating my Miracle Kookies and they are hands down the best lacation cookies! Plus they are delicious and fresh!!) I recently look a major dip in it because I wasn’t consuming enough calories for her. So once she is done nursing, I will basically be vegan or close to it…that’s the goal. I was vegan WAY back in the day and honestly loved it. I don’t make my kids eat this way but I do offer more fruits and veggies into their little diets. I would never make this choice for my kids unless they had to for medical reasons. All three of my kids eat differently which is funny to me. Annabelle is my healthiest eater right now, Averie is my bird eater, and Charles my grown man eater. So meal time is so fun in the Clark house.

I do have some cheat days for sure but by the next day I notice a major difference in my body. I feel heavy, bloated, and just more run down. It’s easier now for me to say no to certain things because I just don’t like the way it makes me feel afterwards. I can go into this more for sure if you ladies are interested in that. I know I still owe you celery juice post, so I will just combine the two together. Eating plant base or eating a specific way in general is a learning curve. I still have a lot to learn, but I am just listening to my body as I go! It will take time to switch my eating gears and I’m not saying I won’t eat certain things like I did before. I will just be majorly limiting those foods or saving them for special occasions.

Working Out:

I mentioned earlier that workouts were going strong their for a minute but then BAM life hits you and workouts disappear….at least for this Mom it does. I’m not that girl who always finds time in the day to work out no matter what’s going on…I wish I was at times. I’m a firm believer that one needs to really listen to ones body because when you are juggling kids on zero sleep, more times than not all your body really needs is freaken rest!! Yes it needs to move as well but rest can do more for you than getting in a quick 20-30 minute workout. I guess that’s why I am still at square one with my weight loss. HA!

Working out does wonders for your overall health and energy levels, this I know! When I finally get my workout schedule on track, I feel like I’m on top of the world! What I’m getting at I guess is this…..to the Mom’s who just had their first or even second baby and are feeling like death because you haven’t slept since God knows when, your body aches so badly from the demand of these precious little creations, and you dread getting ready because you know your clothes still won’t fit or they are to tight for your liking. You want to start working out again but just cannot summon the energy to get it done……Girll, I’ve been there MANY times, more than I would like to admit. When Annabelle was 2-5 months old, my entire body hurt like never before. I would just cry because I was DEAD tried from being up with her all night and then she had witching hours in the evening + the demand of my older two kids. I’m hear to tell you that it DOES GET BETTER! So don’t be to hard on yourself when you decide not to workout and enjoy your one rare moment of quite time to do what you want to do. Some days I have every intention to workout and then by the time Annabelle naps I just fall over because I’m so exhausted. The only down fall of me always resting is that I am becoming use to just sitting down and not pushing myself to workout. Now that Annabelle is 13 months and has been having better nights, I know I need to make that extra effort for myself. Switching up my eating has helped my energy levels too, so that’s a major plus for those days you need a little extra push to workout!

If you followed me on IG you know that I have tried a few different workout program. First I tried BBG, to much jumping for this Mama plus the circuits were timed for 7 minutes each and I felt like you couldn’t get any reps done in those 7 minutes. Form is more important than racing through a workout, in my opinion. Then I ventured into the world of Beach Body and joined the 80 Day Obsession group, which I really enjoyed but some workouts were an hour long and I didn’t have the time for that. It’s a great workout program if you don’t have kids or have older kids in school. I haven’t tried the other workouts on Beach Body because honestly I’m just over that vibe. The coaches that teach the programs drive me nuts (to be honest ) and I’m just not fond of the way they program their workouts (if that makes since). I FINALLY found a workout program/app that is totally my jam!! Its by Kira Stokes and I cannot get enough of her workouts (when I actually do them). Her app is $14 a month and she has workouts from a few minutes (those are meant for a warm up or cool down) to an hour! She targets different parts of your body but most importantly she is all about form! She doesn’t bounce all over the place and she just added bands to her workouts which I’m so excited about. Their are workouts with hand weights too. So if you are like me and are burnt out on your normal workout regiment, then I highly suggestion you try Kira out! She does offer a free 7 day trail!

I want to end this section with this. If you are feeling guilty because you don’t get your workouts in because the kids schedules are taking over, life keeps throwing you curve balls, or you are just flat out exhausted from being a Mom. DON’T BEAT YOURSELF UP for not getting in a workout in. Try and focus on eating the best you can on those days because honestly that’s where the magic will happen anyways. I have felt the pressure to get my workouts in so much over these past 13 months because I see all these other Mom’s with littles working out even tho they are sleep deprived too. I would beat myself up because I couldn’t be like them. It’s just silly looking back on it now! Maybe I’m the only one that has felt like this and you are reading this thinking, “ Well that’s just silly, who cares if they got a workout in!” What I have learned over the past few weeks is that, I’m in a stage where it’s more important to heal my body from the inside out. I have a picture for myself and being able to get a workout some days in is the cherry on top for me.

Q. & A.

On my IG stories I asked you girls to submit any questions that you may have and I would answer on here! If you have any more for me, just shoot them in the comment section below!

Q.) Tell me about your celery juice JOURNEY. Loving it? CHALLENGEs?

A. ) I have been drinking celery juice religiously for a few months now and their is no stopping now. My body has changed so much since starting this new habit and when I miss days I can feel the difference. I originally started juicing because of my skin issues and it has helped! I still have a long way to go but I’m so happy with the results thus far! It is a commitment to juice daily, not going to lie. Cleaning the juicer and making sure you always have celery on hand is an adjustment, but if you are doing it for your overall health then who cares right?! My next blog post will dive into this deeper because I would could on about this topic. In the meantime if you are going to start juicing here are a few tips.

  • Buy organic when possible (tastes why better!) I get my celery from Costco

  • Use a decent juicer because you will get more bang for your buck when juicing

  • Start out SLOW. Start with 16oz and work your way up to 32+. I drink at least 34oz daily now.

  • It will “clean you out” so make sure you are home after drinking it!

Q.) How old am I?

A.) I am 32 and will turn 33 in December!

Q.) Will I be posting Fall outfit ideas?

A.) Absolutely! I haven’t been in the best mind set lately due to my up and down weight gain. Fashion has been on the back burner because I dread getting ready everyday. Arizona is still in the middle of Summer, so my Fall outfit sharing will be delayed a little but I will start creating blog posts to share cute things I find online for those who get to enjoy the Fall season before me!

Q.) What are some challenges you are going through right now as a Mom of 3?

A.) Balance!! Being a one women show 90% of the time it’s SO HARD to give each child the one on one attention that they need. My older kids are moving into a more demanding age emotionally and the baby is still needing all my focus because well she’s still a baby! Trying to get the older kids to understand certain things is very hard because at the end of the day they are still kids. Juggling so many emotions is beyond taxiing and demanding on my Husband and I right now but we are doing the very best we can for all three of them.

Q.) Do you think you guys will ever move back to California?

A.) For so long I prayed for God to lead our family back to California and many times he has, but each time the opportunity arose it just didn't feel right!! It’s been SO HARD to throw all my worries up to him but I have to much faith in him that he is leading us to were our family needs to be. Right now Arizona is where our family needs to be and I finally have closure with that and my goodness what a gift from God that has been!!! These past 6 years have flown by and I’m so thankful for being at peace living here in Arizona. My heart is open to where God will lead us next. I get nervous and scared because I’m human, but all those worries go away knowing that God will always take care of us and provide for our family.

Q.) How do you get your kids to go to bed at night?

A.) I feel like how we get our kids to bed changes every 6 months. What hasn’t changed is our evening schedule. The kids will have dinner and then take showers, have quite time either solo or as a family, and then go to bed. After everyone is bathed and in their pjs, I will have my older kids read out loud to their little sister while we play or we will just play all together. I get books involved with all the kids before lights out. Quite time is a must for my kids because it winds them down even more for bedtime. Now that Annabelle is in the mix bedtime can get tricky if my Husband isn’t home. So quite time can include: drawing, I try to have a fun notebook and pencil box next to their beds. Right now my kids will do Highlights Puzzle books with their Dad while I get Annabelle to bed, then I will come in and read a book with our book light (having the lights off for our bedtime story helps SO MUCH!) and then I will lay with my daughter until she falls a sleep and my son will just go to bed. I also give my kids Zarbee’s Melatonin Vitamins about 45 minutes before bedtime and it has helped a ton! I only give them one gummie and not the two that is aloud. Now that we have a system in place, it will change very soon I’m sure! HA

Q.) What’s the biggest difference/advice you can offer going from 2 to 3 kids?

A.) The biggest difference is being able to manage three kids emotional needs! It’s HARD and I feel so much guilt some days because you can’t balance it as easy as you can with two kids. If you are in a position where you have help so you can have that one on one time with each child, then you will be just fine. Unfortunately I don’t have that and it’s been so hard on me and my kids. Another difference is being able to catch your breath from all the chaos happening! I feel like once I get one kid settled, the other two look at each other and go , “oh wait, it’s my turn now!” HA When I just had my older two kids, their was more down time and more chill vibes happening in the house. Now it’s just pure chaos and someone always needs something!! Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE what God blessed me with but it is a lot more exhausting, draining, and being pulled in three different directions ALL THE TIME. My advice from going from 2-3 kids is to give yourself and your family lots of grace and time to adjust. My kids are still adjusting to not always having the attention on them. I know if I had more outside help it wouldn’t be so hard on all of us. I think couples who have larger families have a lot of outside help and attention from cousins, Grandparents, Aunts, Uncles, and what not. So it majorly helps the kids adjusts to that new baby’s needs. Don’t beat yourself up if you know you are giving everything to your kids when things are hard. Like I said before, I’m a one women show 90% of the time and I cry more days than I would like, thinking I could do more and be more for my kids but the fact of the matter is I’m doing all I can do for them! I felt A LOT of guilt keeping my kids from sports and extra activities they did before Annabelle was born, simply because I just could not manage those demanding schedules with a new baby in the mix! I looked at this year of adjustment as a time for us to bond and learn how our family is going to function from a family of four to a family of five. Looking back now, I am SO THANKFUL I did because my kids grew into their new roles so much better!

If you ask other Mom’s going from 2-3 same questions, I’m sure their answers will be way different than mine. I’m just going off of what I have personally experienced this past year.

Q.) What brought you to Arizona? What does your Husband do?

A.) My Husband’s job brought us out to Arizona 6 years ago. My Husband and I were just saying that it feels like we moved here last year, time has just flown by! Keeping my Husbands job title and the company he works for private is my personal choice. What I can share is that he is in sales and has to travel from time to time.

I want to THANK YOU again for taking the time to read this crazy long post and for your continued support. I just adore you ladies and this community I have built on here. I look forward to the creating more on here with you!!